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Derren Brown is known to his devoted fans as a brilliant showman and illusionist. His television shows attract audiences in the millions and his live show plays to sell-out audiences every night. But in his spare time, Derren uses a very different skill. He is a prodigiously talented artist who paints caricatures of famous faces from around the world. He has painted everyone from Richard Dawkins to Robbie Williams, from Anthony Hopkins to Amy Winehouse, and here for the first time they are all collected together, with Derren's thoughts on the person concerned and why he wanted to paint them in the first place. A must for all of Derren's fans.
Derren was born in 1971 in Croydon. It was a difficult birth - his mother was in Devon at the time. A precocious and puzzling only child, he liked to paint, foster obsessive habits and once set fire to a neighbour's boat by accident. Derren went to study Law and German at Bristol University and fell in love with the city. In 1999 he was asked by Channel 4 to put a mind-reading programme together for television, which became Derren Brown: Mind Control. It was an immediate success and gained Derren a cool underground kudos which he described as 'not enough'. Mind Controls 2 and 3 followed, then a series, and then in October 2003 Derren caused an international furore by playing Russian Roulette live on television. This secured his notoriety with the public and his big apartment in London. Further specials have followed - Derren Brown: The Seance which was the most complained about show in the history of television. He still gets several letters of complaint a week from psychics and Christians. He is sensitive to everyone's objections but knows at least the latter group will forgive him. Derren's workload keeps him exhausted and irritable fifty-two weeks a year and he continues to live in London with a large collection of taxidermy and a fatalistic parrot. He spends any free weekends painting and likes to receive gifts.